Amid the Ukraine government's vote for constitutional changes to give its eastern regions a special status (that it hopes will blunt their separatist drive) protests have turned deadly as RT reports 50 Ukrainian nation guards have been injured in a greande blast near parliament in Kiev.
- *1 UKRAINE NATIONAL GUARDSMAN KILLED TODAY: INTERIOR MINISTER
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The clashes began earlier in the day...
Rada violence pic.twitter.com/P8nXRKxrvo— Oliver Carroll (@olliecarroll) August 31, 2015
Following, as Reuters reports, Ukraine's parliament on Monday voted for constitutional changes to give its eastern regions a special status that it hopes will blunt their separatist drive...
At a rowdy session, a total of 265 deputies voted in favor in the first reading of a "decentralization" bill, backed by President Petro Poroshenko's political bloc and his government - 39 more than that required to go through.
But many coalition allies, including former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, spoke against the changes and it is open to question whether Poroshenko will be able to whip up the necessary 300 votes for it to get through a second and final reading later this year.
Approval of legislation for special status for parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which are largely controlled by Russian-backed separatists, is a major element of a peace agreement reached in Minsk, Belarus, in February.
Though a ceasefire is under pressure from sporadic shelling and shooting which government troops and rebels blame on each other, Western governments see the deal as holding out the best possible prospect for peace and are urging Ukraine to abide by the letter of the Minsk agreement.
At least 50 Special Forces troops have been injured during clashes in front of the parliament in Kiev, the Ukrainian National Guard said. Crowds of protesters came to oppose amendments to the constitution that would provide for decentralization of the country.
"About 50 soldiers of the National Guard of Ukraine have been injured during clashes near Ukrainian parliament, four of them in serious condition,” the National Guard said in a statement.
Tweets from journalists at the scene said supporters of the radical group Right Sector were brutally attacking police officers.
“A combat grenade has been thrown at the Ukrainian special forces. Some of the servicemen from [Ukraine] National Guard have been seriously injured. Their life is in danger,” Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Kiev’s Interior Ministry, wrote on his Facebook page.
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Another video of the hostilities developing in Kiev: